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Gambled away me and my husband's paychecks.

I would put on my clothes and I would tip [toe] out in the middle of the night to go gamble. In a week he would get paid. He would give me money to go buy the groceries. I’d go gamble every bit of it.

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I had this urge at 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning to go out and gamble at that little machine. Then it graduated from a truck stop, playing video poker to going to the casino playing the slot machines. It was nothing for me to go in there and win a thousand dollars as soon as I walked in, but I would stay all night sometimes, playing, for the sport, because I had an addiction; not even because I needed the money.

I would wait until my husband would go to sleep. We used to like to watch television on the floor. I would wait until he was asleep. I would look over [at him]. I would put on my clothes and I would tip [toe] out in the middle of the night to go gamble. In a week he would get paid. He would give me money to go buy the groceries. I’d go gamble every bit of it. You couldn’t put a dollar in my hand. I would just go and gamble it.

I would leave off my job on my lunch hour; go get on a boat, stay two and three hours. How I kept my job I don’t know. It got so bad the world around me started, seemingly, turning grey. As it was turning grey I knew my soul was slipping. I knew if the Lord called on my soul I would go straight to hell. I knew it.

I began to start calling out and crying out to God, not knowing why, but [saying], “God, help me. Save me, God. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Help me, God.” One day he had this little girl, she was a little petite white girl that was at the university to where I worked. I’m coming back from the casino. I had probably lost my whole paycheck. She saw me looking so down and so out of it. God talked to her, and he told her what was going on. She came up to me and said, “Ma’am, God just spoke to me and told me that you’re hurting. He told me that you really need him. You need Jesus.” Before she said that, she said, “Now, will you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?”

In the middle of the parking lot at the University of New Orleans. I lifted my hands. I said, “I surrender. God, I give it all to you. God, you can have me.” I remember giving my life to Christ, for real. That’s when I became a Christian; not just a churchgoer. That’s when I became a Christian. I went inside and I told one of the consultants, at the time, I didn’t know he was an atheist, “I gave my life to Jesus Christ.”, and he said [condescendingly], “Oh, Really?” So, that wasn’t the right person to tell.

The enemy would even try to show me the little sevens on the slot machines because I loved the sevens, the little red sevens with the fire. Then would start saying, as his word says, “Resist the devil and he got to flee from you. My father owns the cattle on a thousand hills; all of the gold and silver belong to him. You cannot tempt me with no evil that belongs to you, devil. Get thee behind me.”

God healed... God healed me from addiction. Not a seven-step process. Not a counselor. Not another protocol. God himself. His healing power touched my life.

Catherine - Gambled away me and my husband's paychecks.

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